“Ignorance is bliss,” the poet Thomas Gray wrote 275 years ago, referring to the joyful innocence of youth.
It’s decidedly less appealing in the form of a factually illiterate senator hectoring a hearing witness, as happened this week when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) attempted her typical badgering routine based on her own misunderstanding.
Warren betrayed in her questions to Lori Reilly, who was representing the pharmaceutical drug industry, a complete misunderstanding of the difference between a drug patent, which has a term of 20 years, and a separate 5-year data exclusivity period granted by the government under some circumstances.
As Reilly attempted to explain this distinction, Warren interjected: “Try the story on someone else who’s going to be willing to listen to it.”
Try your facts elsewhere, subject matter expert, this senator cannot be bothered.
Then, seeming to realize she was in hot water, Warren panic exited, quickly yielding her remaining questioning time before Reilly was ever able to correct the record.
Now, you wouldn’t expect the average person to know all of the different legal protections available for intellectual property and how they apply to various classes of pharmaceutical drugs. But you would expect a United States senator trying to portray an industry as an evil villain to have command over the basic facts of what she’s talking about.
And you would especially expect that senator, when confronted with their embarrassing ignorance on the subject they are in the process of demagoguing, not to respond by telling a congressional hearing witness they “aren’t willing to listen to it.”
According to her questions, Warren could stand to do some substantial listening about how the drug industry works.
Before even arriving at her moment of proud obliviousness, Warren had already butchered the issues in service of a tidy anti-market narrative.
She started with the liberal canard that free-market advocates should endorse drug reimportation, since it would be increasing competition.
Perhaps we shouldn’t assume she knows why this is asinine and stupid, given the subsequent back-and-forth, but anyone with basic literacy in health policy does. Since almost every other country on earth imposes price controls on drugs, drug reimportation would simply bring the artificial and arbitrary foreign government-set prices to the U.S.
Then Warren continued on the same path, demanding drug price “negotiation” to lower prices. Again, this rhetoric is normally deployed cynically, since 1) a government “negotiating” when it also regulates and taxes the industry it’s negotiating with is utterly unlike any other market participant, and 2) the Congressional Budget Office has formally scored this as saving zero dollars, but it’s possible Warren simply doesn’t know that.
Perhaps before the next time, she goes for the jugular in a hearing, Warren will learn something about the subject she’s talking about.
Megan Barth is the founder and proprietor of ReaganBabe.com and a nationally recognized political commentator. She is a weekly cohost for WAR-The Wayne Allyn Root Show out of Las Vegas.
‘WHAT A DISASTER:’ Iowa Caucus Results Delayed in Vote Count Catastrophe
The nation is left with more questions than answers on the night of the Iowa Caucus.
The Iowa Caucus was intended to kick off the Democratic Presidential primary by highlighting candidates with a credible shot of winning the nomination.
Instead, the first-in-the nation caucus seems to be more representative of the Democratic Party’s incompetence, after results for the caucus are delayed for an unforeseen “quality assurance” tabulation process. The development has many election hawks and Democrats howling mad, with many suspecting the DNC is dipping into its bag of old tricks with the hopes of blunting or preventing a Bernie Sanders victory in the caucus.
There are many reports of caucus precinct coordinators being totally ignored when trying to report the results of their local caucuses to the Iowa Democratic Party. At least one caucus organizer was outright hung up on by the party when he called in to report results- while speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer live on air.
This is the moment
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) February 4, 2020
The mass of confusion is being traced to the failure of an app designed to report results. Iowa Democrats simply explained the unusual delay as the result of “inconsistencies,” offering little to no in depth explanation for what seems to be third world election practices.
Although we’re inexplicably left without any vote tallies the night of the election, exit polls and crowd sizes suggest that polling frontrunner Sanders has a strong chance to win. Pete Buttigieg also appears set for a strong second place performance. Sanders expressed confidence in a strong performance when addressing his supporters in the state.
— Averi Harper (@AveriHarper) February 4, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden appears slated for an embarrassment, outright failing to advance to the “viable” stage in many precinct and regional caucus. It’s not entirely impossible that Biden finishes fourth in the primary, a surprise development that would leave the candidate many assumed to be an easy frontrunner for the Democratic nomination struggling as he lags to New Hampshire and later primary states.
MSNBC talking heads could be overheard referring to the caucus as a “disaster” in a some capacity in leaked audio.
NBC hot mic captures "OMG, what a disaster" as they talk about canditates pic.twitter.com/IWfZsIOHPc
— Wojciech Pawelczyk (@PolishPatriotTM) February 4, 2020
As of late Monday night, the Iowa Democratic Party is yet to report any vote results, let alone declare a winner. Big League Politics is continuing to monitor the situation.
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